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Rental Scam May 22, 2022

Scam Type

Rental Scam

Date Reported

May 22, 2022

Victim Postal Code

02474

Total Dollars Lost

$1,600.00

Scam Description

Found posting for a rental property on the “University of Washington (UW) Housing, Sublets, & Roommates” Facebook Group. Queen Anna Nathanson posted a listing for a 1 bed/1 bath apartment near Seattle University with pictures of the place explaining rent was $800 per month including amenities. She asked interested persons to private message her via Facebook Messenger, which I did. After expressing interest, she had me email her where she explained she was out of town with her husband for work, so she couldn’t show me the place, but sent more photos and told me more about the place. Created a sense of urgency with “other interested subletters” and had me fill out a rental application (providing basic info like name, phone number, address, and email). After that, she texted me with more urgency to send first month rent and security deposit and to sign the contract after the payment, which I asked for the contract before I sent the payment which she did. After I signed what felt like a legitimate 5-page lease agreement, I sent the money through Zelle ($1600 for first months rent and security deposit) to “the property’s owner” at a different email than the one she was communicating with me with, but this was also a “third party” listed on the contract by the name of Tara Blackwell (tarablackwell0@gmail.com). After she got the money, she texted me using the phone number I had provided in the rental application asking me if I had a “credit check”. She said that she needed $1200 to check my credit that she would refund that to me in 24 hours. This is when I suspected that I was being scammed. I called her at her number (4055405413) and had a couple of exchanges with a person with bad phone connectivity and and person insisting that I should send the money and read the demand on the text. I have the person’s phone number, email where we exchanged the rental agreement and her Zelle email. I am at lost on how to recover my money.